More Frequent, Severe Storms Drive 84 Percent Claims Increase
DES PLAINES, Ill., July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Insurance Crime Bureau today reported that insurance claims resulting from hail-storm damage increased 84 percent in 2012 from their 2010 level. In 2010, there were 467,602 hail damage claims filed. That number increased to 689,267 in 2011 and to 861,597 in 2012—an overall increase of 84 percent from 2010 to 2012.
The nation has experienced severe storms (wind, tornado, hail) that are occurring with more intensity and affecting more areas of the country. While scientists debate why these storms occur, no one argues with their effects—extensive property damage and, many times, loss of life. The property damage can be as minimal as a few broken shingles to total destruction of buildings. This report focuses just on insurance claims resulting from hail damage.
Over 2 million hail damage claims were processed from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012. During this period, the top five states generating hail damage claims were Texas (320,823), Missouri (138,857), Kansas (126,490), Colorado (118,118) and Oklahoma (114,168).
The claims activity follows the hail storm activity as posted on the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Texas was the state with the most hail storm events with 557, 741 and 795, respectively.
See the complete NICB hail damage claims report and background data. See a video of a new test facility that is helping to educate investigators on how to spot fraudulent hail claims, as well as aiding engineers in the design of storm-resistant buildings and materials.
Enduring a hail storm is challenging enough, but property owners must also understand that in the wake of a severe storm, they may be visited by unethical contractors posing as sincere repairmen. Often, these characters will descend on disaster areas and go door to door offering their repair services. Although most are honest, some are not. If the dishonest ones get your money in advance of performing any work, you'll never see them or your money again.
That's why NICB reminds consumers to always check first with their insurance company before signing any documents presented by a contractor whom you did not request to appear. It's why we say, "If you didn't request it, reject it."
The following tips are also helpful:
- Get more than one estimate
- Don't be pushed into signing a contract right away
- Get everything in writing
- Require references and check them out
- Ask to see the contractor's driver's license and write down the number and the license plate on his or her vehicle
More consumer protection information is available here.
Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), texting keyword "fraud" to TIP411 (847411) or submitting a form on our website. Or, download the NICB Fraud Tips app on your iPhone or Android device.
About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by more than 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote $350 billion in insurance premiums in 2012, or more than 78 percent of the nation's property/casualty insurance. That includes more than 93 percent ($160 billion) of the nation's personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.
SOURCE National Insurance Crime Bureau